What Is An Orange Snowball Cactus – Tips For Growing Orange Snowballs

Orange Snowball Cactus In Container
(Image credit: Clement Peiffer)

The orange snowball cactus is appropriate for use as a houseplant or as part of an outdoor display in an area that gets morning sun. Covered in fine white spines, this rounded cactus does indeed look like a snowball. Blooms are orange when they appear profusely during one of the frequent flowering stages of this plant, Rebutia muscula.

Orange Snowball Plant Care

When growing orange snowball, you’ll find it offsets readily at two or three years. Growers suggest leaving the offsets attached for an ultimate large mound of them. It will produce more flowers and the orange blooms are even more abundant.

Orange snowball plant care includes repotting annually, in late winter or spring when possible. Replant it into a fast-draining cactus mix that is at least 50 percent pumice or coarse sand, according to the experts.

If growing cacti is a new hobby, you’ll learn that minute amounts of water are one of the keys to keeping them happy. Those growing in partial sun will need a little more water than those that exist on just bright light. Water cacti only during spring and summer and allow the soil to dry before watering again. Withhold all water in fall and winter.

Cacti can adapt to a morning sun environment or a lightly shaded spot. Some adjust it to a full afternoon sun area. Most agree to avoid afternoon sun, however, when planting in the landscape or locating a container. Rebutia orange snowball can adapt to these conditions. It can take the outdoor cold because the dense spines offer protection from cold and heat. 

This plant is native to mountainous areas where it gets cold at night. If you wish to keep it outside during winter in your area, make sure it is well acclimated. Info on this plant says it can take temps of 20 degrees F. (-7 C.) for short periods. Rebutia is one of those cacti that need a winter cooling period in winter to encourage more abundant blooms.

Fertilize Rebutia muscula when it is growing to encourage more flowering. If you have several cacti to care for, you might consider purchasing special food for them. If not, use a standard all-purpose or succulent food weakened to a quarter to half strength.

Becca Badgett

Becca Badgett was a regular contributor to Gardening Know How for ten years. Co-author of the book How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden, Becca specializes in succulent and cactus gardening.